Monday 5/21 ~ What if I only sin sometimes?

The scripture for today, May 21 (5/21) is 2nd Corinthians 5:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

A lot of people do not understand what Jesus’ death has to do with going to heaven. The key is in Romans 3:23 that says “The wages of sin is death.” When Adam and Eve sinned, immediately their souls died, and the bodies gradually died. That was the wages they collected for sinning.

It’s been happening to everyone since then. But, during Old Testament times, God allowed people to make a perfect animal take their wage, shed its blood and die in their place when they sinned.

This was only a temporary fix, however. Hebrews says the blood of animals cannot truly take away (take the substitute punishment for) sins; they are remembered again every year (Hebrews 10:3-4).

Finally, John the Baptist announced Jesus was “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). In order to forever stop all the sacrificial substitute dying, God prepared his own perfect Lamb ~ Jesus, who never sinned. For 33 years, God’s Word took human form in Jesus and became one of us. Then he had to shed his blood and die in our place. In so doing, he collected our wages forever.

Jesus did two things impossible for us to do: Live a perfect life without sin, and come back to life after he died ~ both physically and spiritually. Why? So we could do another thing that is impossible for us to do on our own: Enter heaven, the home of the perfect.

Heaven is not for people who do a lot of good works and only sin sometimes so that God will have no choice but to take them into his home. It only takes one sin to be a sinner.  God cannot exist with sin.

God invites us to his heaven if we will follow Jesus. We don’t even have to be perfect ~ just forgiven. Jesus was perfect for us. What amazing love.

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Tuesday 5/1 ~ It stretches our mind, our heart, our soul

The scripture for today, May 1 (5/1), is Romans 5:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Of course, if we do not have faith in Jesus, we will not obey any of his commands. He said in John 15:14, “You are my friends IF you do what I command.”

How do we become his friends?  By obeying all his commands. But we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and the wages we earn with our sins is body and soul death (Romans 6:23).

That makes it impossible for us to live in heaven. Only the just can enter heaven. Otherwise, heaven wouldn’t be heaven. But how do we become just when the fact remains that we sin by actions, attitudes, and good things we leave undone?

Every time we sin, we come in the clutches of Satan, the originator of both body and soul death.  He holds us hostage. So, God came to us in flesh, paid our fine, our bail, and bought us out of the death prison of Satan. He got us out and declared us not guilty.

But we have to believe he did that for us.  What amazing God we have. We can barely comprehend it. It stretches our mind, our heart, our soul.

Yes, it is a beautiful thing what God did for us. That was his part. Our part is to believe it, accept it, and actively follow it.

That, too, is beautiful.

Monday 4/30 ~ Let go, or it will take you to hell

The scripture for today, April 30 (4/30), is Ephesians 4:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Do you think God has no choice but to let you into his heaven because you do not steal, cheat, or murder? Think again.

There’s more to it than that; it’s called sins of attitude. Are you bitter about something? Let go of it, or it will take you to hell.  Do you have a problem with rage and anger? Do you enjoy a good mental or physical brawl? Do you slander people who have done you wrong? Do you harbor grudges year after year? Let go of them. Please. They are taking you to hell.

The average person does not have trouble with bad actions. The big problem is with bad attitudes. Let go of them. God will take care of the problems. Let go of people you consider your enemies and wish them well. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Do not grieve yourself.

Live in sweet inner peace. Live at peace with God. Make God smile.

Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?

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